Hillsdale College Celebrates 175 Years with Christ Chapel Dedication
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas presents remarks at opening of 27,000-square-foot chapel
Hillsdale, Mich. – On October 3, Hillsdale College marked its 175th anniversary with the official opening and dedication of its newly constructed, 27,000-square-foot Christ Chapel. The dedication featured an address from Clarence Thomas, associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
“Everyone who will see this ceremony, everyone who will take joy from this chapel—and that will be millions—it means that they are here today, and they are among the builders of this building,” said Larry P. Arnn, Hillsdale College president. “Everything that happens here, it’s ultimately so that we can address our minds to the perfect and highest thing.”
Christ Chapel was designed by prominent architect and University of Notre Dame professor Duncan Stroik. Stroik has designed several religious spaces in the United States, including Thomas Aquinas College Chapel in California and the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Wisconsin. The chapel’s design complements Hillsdale College’s Central Hall and is modeled after the English church St. Martin-in-the-Fields, which was the inspiration for Philadelphia’s famous Christ Church. Featuring a 64-foot painted barrel ceiling, 14 columns, arched windows, and wooden pews, the chapel is capable of seating 1,350 people.
“The college years require young people to make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives,” said Justice Thomas during the dedication ceremony. “They are exposed to new ideas, new relationships, new distractions, and new temptations. They need a place where they can go to be relieved of their troubles and get their bearing as so much comes at them so fast. By building this chapel, Hillsdale College has provided that space where students can come to discern God’s calling, to pray through difficult times and to praise God for his faithfulness.”
The dedication of Christ Chapel was part of Hillsdale College’s 175th anniversary celebration, which took place from October 2-3. The celebration featured programming and events for alumni and friends of Hillsdale College, focused on the College’s mission to provide a high-quality liberal arts education rooted in the principles of liberty set down by America’s founders.